‘Independence Day: Resurgence’: Roland Emmerich May Be Living On Borrowed Time

Independence Day: Resurgence hits theaters this weekend, and many critics are wondering if this could be the swan song for director Roland Emmerich. Emmerich’s vision of Earth invaded by aliens wowed audiences in 1996 with big explosions and special effects, that has only been matched by fellow wielder of destruction Michael Bay in recent years.

While Independence Day didn’t blow critics away, it pulled in $817 million worldwide which puts it 55th on the all-time worldwide list according to Box Office Mojo. It also gave Emmerich the green light to explore just about any other world catastrophe he could think of.

Image via Fox
Image via Fox

Roland Emmerich has managed to almost destroy the world with a new Ice Age in The Day After Tomorrow; the Mayan prophecy came to a fruition in 2012; he even went back to 10,000 BC to examine ancient prophecies. One thing all of these films had in common along with Independence Day: Resurgence is they were given enormous budgets. That could go the way of Jerry Bruckheimer and Disney if Resurgence has a bad week two.

From what critics are saying, Independence Day: Resurgence will most likely not win any word-of-mouth votes. Some of the most popular critics in America have little to nothing good to say about the second film in the Independence Day series. Stephanie Zackarek of TIME Magazine compared it to its predecessor.

“You can forgive ‘Independence Day: Resurgence’ for being ridiculous — its predecessor was too. But you can’t forgive it for being boring.”

Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times deemed it “unnecessary” and claimed the film “bombed.” New York Times called it “predictably predictable,” and Associated Press could only describe the plot as “a big jumble of story lines, nonsense science talk, and lots of in ’96 references.” Independence Day: Resurgence has a Rotten Rating of 32 percent.

While the original film had fans on their side in 1996, patrons are not quite as forgiving of the 2016 version. It is sitting at a score of 44 percent, but most that do like it feel it was a rehashed plot of the original Independence Day. Others of course who were fond of the first hated the second.

“I was so excited for this movie and it literally sucked in every way possible. Horrible.”

“Wow-bad jokes and attempts to pull heartstrings was clumsy. The vengeance motto just seemed stupid. I stayed through the movie but would have been fine if I left 25 minutes into it. It did not get better.”

A particular favorite fan review actually had the moviegoer pulling for the aliens.

“I actually wish that the aliens would have ended mankind in the first movie because it would have prevented me from going to this one. Just awful.”

Thursday night openings saw a modest $4 million which included theaters that elected to double bill Resurgence with the original Independence Day. In comparison, Finding Dory last week hauled in $5 million. There is a real possibility that Independence Day: Resurgence will need to lean heavily on the international market for support. Variety said Friday that it will not beat Finding Dory playing in its second week, a disappointment for any summer blockbuster.

Image via Getty Images/Angela Weiss

Where will this leave a sequel that is teased in the stinger? Where will this leave director Roland Emmerich? Independence Day: Resurgence has an estimated cost of $165 million. It doesn’t seem possible for it to make its money back stateside. While the international market is somewhat more forgiving, how much longer will studios allow him to make the blockbuster flops. At some point, the international community will become as saturated as the domestic, and when that happens, Emmerich could be the odd man out.

[Image via Fox]

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